MANNS HARBOR — The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division will add two night departures at its Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 9, to assist Ocracoke residents, vendors and visitors while the Hatteras ferry channel is dredged.
The added departures will be:
- Departing at 7 p.m. from Ocracoke; and
- Departing at 10 p.m. from Swan Quarter.
These runs are in addition to the current winter schedule of two departures daily from each side. The extra night departures will continue until the Hatteras ferry channel is dredged and the Hatteras-Ocracoke schedule returns to normal.
For the past several weeks, ferry operations have been suspended daily during low water at the Hatteras-Ocracoke route. Shoaling in the channel has been an ongoing issue, but Hurricane Sandy, two back-to-back Nor’easters and several winter wind storms have contributed to the problem. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to resolve the situation, as the channel falls under federal jurisdiction. The USACE has issued a dredging contract to address the channel shoaling, and work is under way, but several weeks could pass before dredging alleviates the problem.